#1 Do: Know the measurements of your spaces
There’s nothing worse than showing up at your new apartment with your grandmother’s 200lb sofa only to discover that it does not fit through the front door. There’s going to be lots of instances like this if you have not taken the time to measure your spaces.
Don’t: Forget to take pictures of the apartment before you put anything down
Take time-stamped photos of the state of the apartment before you have moved any of your stuff in. This is extremely important if there are any damages, or repairs that need to be made so that there’s a record in the event that it ever comes down to your word against your landlord’s in regard to who damaged what.
#2 Do: Introduce yourself to your neighbors
You are going to be living in the building for at least a year, it’s a good idea to make a good first impression before your neighbors get to know the real you ;). But seriously, being on a good foot with your neighbors can make living in an apartment building a whole lot easier. Hell, maybe things go so well they could water your plants while you are at that wedding in Maine.
Don’t: Immediately throw a huge rager
This is something you could bring up when you meet your neighbors! Mention that you are planning on having a little soiree in a couple days but that it will not be anything too wild. Nothing would hurt your cause more than immediately being labeled the rowdy party person of the building.
#3 Do: Get an extra set of keys made
It’s going to happen eventually, either you or roommate is going to lose your keys. And it’s a lot easier and less embarrassing than calling your landlord or having to drive to your roommate’s workplace to pick up his.
Don’t: Try and fill up the space too quickly
If this is your first apartment, besides a few hand me downs, the apartment will probably be mostly empty. Don’t take this as a challenge to fill it up as quickly as possible. This can be very expensive and can lead to some decorating regrets. Make a list of the items you need and buy them by order of importance. If you need a sofa that’s fine, but do not worry about having a coffee table and side tables just yet. It’s better to buy items as your budget allows than have a perfectly furnished two bedrooms apartment after the first week of living there.
#4 Do: Get organized with your roommate
Once you are both settled-in make lists of what you both need, make schedules of who is in charge of what when it comes to chores, and when either of you would like to have people over to see the new place. Communicating well with your roommate can make living together a lot easier.
Don’t: Combine your beds into bunk beds so you have more room for activities
Unless you or your roommate is a licensed carpenter I would dissuade you from turning your two beds into one bunk bed so you have more room for activities. If you wanted to do that, financially it would have made a lot more sense just to have rented a one bedroom apartment, and spent your couple hundred extra dollars paying to do new activities.